Las Vegas Police: At Least 59 Dead, 527 Hurt In Mandalay Bay Shooting
LAS VEGAS - A gunman perched high on the 32nd floor of a Las Vegas Strip casino unleashed a shower of bullets down on an outdoor country music festival below, killing at least 59 people and leaving at least 527 injured as thousands of frantic concert-goers screamed and ran for their lives, Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said Monday. It was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
President Trump called the attack "an act of pure evil" and said the FBI and Department of Homeland Security are working with local authorities in the investigation. Mr. Trump spoke with Nevada's governor and the mayor and sheriff of Las Vegas, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said. He will travel to Las Vegas on Wednesday.
An FBI official said investigators had found "no connection with an international terrorist group" during a press conference Monday morning.
Country music star Jason Aldean was performing Sunday night at the end of the three-day Route 91 Harvest Festival when the gunman opened fire across the street from inside the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino.
SWAT teams quickly descended on the concert and the casino, and officers used explosives to get into the hotel room where the suspect was inside, authorities said.
The shooter: Stephen Paddock
The gunman was found dead at the scene and was identified by Lombardo as Stephen Paddock, 64, from Mesquite, Nevada. Investigators are still trying to discern Paddock's motive.
A SWAT team found Paddock dead with at least 10 rifles in his hotel room. At a press conference Monday morning, Lombardo said Paddock brought the weapons into the hotel himself and used "a device similar to a hammer" to break the window.
The U.S. Homeland Security Department says there is no "specific credible threat" involving other public venues in the U.S. after the shooting.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) claimed on Monday that Paddock was acting on behalf of the group, but offered no evidence. The terror group said in a statement released by its pseudo-news agency Amaq, citing anonymous sources, that Paddock converted to Islam several months ago and carried out the attack "in response to calls to target states of the coalition" battling ISIS.
U.S. officials dispute ISIS' claim, telling CBS News there are no signs that Paddock had ties to radical Islamic groups or showed signs of being radicalized.
Lombardo said Paddock was not known to law enforcement in Las Vegas.
Aldean, the performer, was in the middle of a song when the shots came rapidly: Pop-pop-pop-pop. Video of the shooting then showed Aldean stopping and the crowd getting quiet as if they were unsure of what had just happened. The gunman paused and then fired another volley of muzzle flashes from the gold glass casino as more victims fell to the ground while others fled in panic. Some said they hid behind concession stands and other crawled under parked cars.
Gail Davis, who was at the Las Vegas outdoor country music concert Sunday night, witnessed the terrifying scene.
"We went there to see Jason Aldean," she said. "We were standing, like, maybe halfway up. He came on and about 20 to 10, he sang about five songs and all of a sudden we heard about three or four little pop, pop, pops, and everybody looked around and said, 'Oh, it's just firecrackers.' And then we heard pop, pop, pop, and it just kept going and going, and my husband said, "That's not firecrackers. That sounds like a semi-automatic rifle.' And then everybody started screaming and started to run.
"I looked over to my right where this girl had been standing right beside me, and she had fallen -- first, she stood there and she grabbed her stomach and she looked at her hands and her hands were all bloody, and she was wearing, like, a little crop top and, you know, blue jean shorts and cowboy boots, and she looked at her hands and her hands were bloody, and she just kind of screamed and she just fell back."
Kodiak Yazzie, 36, said the music stopped temporarily when the first shots began and the tune even started up again before the second round of pops sent the performers ducking for cover and fleeing the stage.
"It was the craziest stuff I've ever seen in my entire life," Yazzie said. "You could hear that the noise was coming from west of us, from Mandalay Bay. You could see a flash- flash- flash- flash."
Thousands in the crowd fled as the bullets ran rampant. Monique Dumas from British Columbia, Canada, said she was at the concert, six rows from the stage when she thought she heard a bottle breaking, and then a burst of popping sounds that may have been fireworks. She said as she made her way out, it was "organized chaos" as everyone fled. "It took four to five minutes and all that time there was gunfire."
In addition to Paddock, police said they located a female companion who may have been his wife -- Marilou Danley, 62. Danley was overseas at the time of the shooting and is not believed to have been involved. Lombardo said they believe this was a "lone wolf" attack.
"It's a devastating time," Lombardo said.
Police shut down the usually busy Las Vegas Boulevard and authorities across the state and
federal ranks converged onto the scene as dozens of ambulances ferried those struck by gunfire. Nearby Interstate 15 and flights at McCarran International Airport were briefly closed. Hospital emergency rooms were jammed with victims delivered by ambulance. Others loaded the wounded into their cars and drove them to hospitals.
Jose Baggett, 31, of Las Vegas, said he and a friend were in the lobby of the Luxor hotel-casino -- directly north of the festival -- when people began to run, almost like in a stampede. He said people were crying and as he and his friend started walking away minutes later, they encountered police checkpoints where officers were carrying shotguns and assault rifles.
"There were armored personnel vehicles, SWAT vehicles, ambulances, and at least a half-mile of police cars," Baggett said.
Among those killed were two off-duty police officers who were attending the concert. Two on-duty officers were wounded, including one who underwent surgery and was upgraded to stable condition early Monday, police said.
Hours after the shooting, Aldean posted on Instagram that he and his crew were safe and said the shooting was "beyond horrific."
"It hurts my heart that this would happen to anyone who was just coming out to enjoy what should have been a fun night," Aldean said.
The shooting at the sold-out Route 91 Harvest festival was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Forty-nine people were killed when a gunman opened fire at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando in June 2016.
Sunday's shooting came more than four months after a suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, that killed 22 people. Almost 90 people were killed by gunmen inspired by Islamic State at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris during a performance by Eagles of Death Metal in November 2015.
This is a developing story and will be updated.
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